Paola Suarez is an Economics doctoral student at George Mason University. Having exposure to the Department of Economics as a George Mason undergraduate student allowed Paola to become familiar with the characteristics of the program and allowed her to determine that the program would be a great fit for her interests.
Paola has found the program at Mason unique in the numerous opportunities it provides students to interact and collaborate closely with faculty. In her experience, the relationships with Mason professors has been one of the most rewarding aspects of being involved in the program. In regards to her professors Paola said, “They have been extremely generous with their time, decidedly supportive of my goals and interests, and indispensable in the guidance they provided me over the last five years.” She also has found the program exceptional in supporting the diversity of economic thinking, which allows students to pursue a variety of research agendas and career paths. Paola has been able to take advantage of several other opportunities including working as research assistant and teaching several classes.
During her time at Mason, Paola has completed two papers on the economics of child bride marriage in developing countries, with a focus on India. The marriages examined are marriages where the brides have not yet reached puberty at the time they begin marital cohabitation. Her first paper, which will be published at the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, develops and empirically tests a theory of the market for child brides, where both the supply of, and demand for, such brides arise from son preference—a commonly found parental preference for male over female offspring in many developing societies. The second paper, which will be published at the European Journal of Law and Economics, investigates the effects of policies aimed at raising female marriage age in societies where son preference, and thus child-bride marriages, persist.
Currently, Paola is a visiting Ph.D. fellow in the Economics Department at New York University. In her role as a visiting fellow she has continued to pursue her research interests. After the completion of the program, Paola intends to pursue a career in academia as an economics professor.